From the Regional Druid
Blessed Solstice to you all.
For those of you who haven’t met me yet, I’ve have stepped in to help as Regional Druid when Rev. Sean took a well needed, and deserved break. If you have any questions, or need any assistance, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll do my best to help.
Winter is quite definitely here, and the reminders of the season are all around us. Here in California, we have been getting a lot of glorious rain and it’s been nice and cold!
By now, most of us have had our Solstice/Yule rituals, but if you haven’t had a chance to attend one or do one on your own, Rev. Davin macLugh has posted a ritual that you can do alone. You can find the link to that in our new Resources section. This section is dedicated to sharing fun stuff that we find on our ADF website or around the web that can be handy for ADF druids. If you’d like to submit something for this section, please email us at email@example.com with the info!
Blessings of the Kindreds to you and yours,
Victoria Selnes (Leona Oigheag)
What Does the Winter Solstice Mean to You?
This newsletter, we asked our region what this High Day means to them.
Here’s what they said:
“At the Winter Solstice I like to call upon the Welsh deity, Lleu Llaw Gyffes. In the Mabinogi tales he is run though with a blessed spear by a rival for his wife’s heart and instantly turns into a wounded eagle. As such he flies away in pain and agony, only to end up at the top of an oak tree on top of a hill. There he is found by his uncle Gwydion and restored to health. This story, to me, reflects our sun as it weakens almost to death but then, at the Solstice, begins it’s journey back to brightness, warmth, and good health.
“As Lleu is a Patron on mine, I think this works very well.” ~ Rev. Kirk Thomas
“Winter Solstice is the darkest part of the year. For me it is the beginning
“Our Grove celebrates winter solstice by honoring the return of the sun and by giving offerings to Aeghus Og–the Young Son. In Ireland, the inner chamber of the Newgrange burial mound is illuminated for 17 minutes once a year at dawn on winter solstice. We celebrate this event as a Grove, and use it as a turning point in the wheel of the year. Our Grove solstice celebration will be held on Sunday, December 18th at the Unitarian Universalist Society in Sacramento.” ~ Rev. Sean W Harbaugh
“For me Yule becomes a pretty long season and ends up being far greater than the “12 days of Yule”. It is about honoring the dark , honoring the quiet, and deeply listening to the earth. Slowing down enough to really be present and experience it in such away that by the 12th day after Yule, it is possible to notice the ever so slightly longer days and to appreciate the light coming back with the promise of warmth and growth that will follow. ” ~ Morag
“Yule has always been an odd time for me. My Grandmother is Roman Catholic, and so celebrates Christmas, but my parents are rather secular in their celebrations. The time of the Winter Solstice always means family and celebration to me. We celebrate the returning of the Sun in my pagan rituals, and celebrate family and friends in the secular celebrations.” ~ Victoria S
Looking to add some chants or music to your rituals?
The ADF site Ritual Chants page has links to chants and songs for the different parts of the COoR ritual! Many of them have audio clips as well so you can learn the music.
Having trouble with meditation?
Rev. Kirk Thomas talks about his meditation practices on his website at http://www.druidkirk.org/druid/meditation.html
Need a ritual that you can do on your own?
Rev. Davin MacLugh’s Tumblr blog – By Fire Well and Tree – hosts his thoughts of different aspects of ADF Druidry as well as rituals written to do by yourself. Check out his Winter Solstice Ritual!
Around the Region
Events and Rituals that are happening around the region.
Most Yule rituals have already happened, but you can see what’s coming up on our Northwest Events Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ADFNorthwestEvents/. You do not need to be logged into Facebook to see the page.
If you have something that you’d like us to add, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have questions for our Regional Druid? Contact Victoria at email@example.com.
Have a submission for the next newsletter? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to help out at Pantheacon or Eight Winds? Email us at email@example.com
Images by Victoria S (Leona Oigheag)